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My Client Will Honour EFCC’s Invitation When She Is Fit Enough – Umar-Farouq’s Lawyer




Sadiya Umar-Farouq

Oladipo Okpeseyi, lawyer to the former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, has said his client did not shun the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Naija News reports that the EFCC is investigating the ministry she oversaw from 2019 to 2023 over an alleged N37 billion fraud.

On Thursday, the EFCC rejected the former minister’s excuse and asked her to turn herself in without further delay, following reports that she had shunned the agency’s invitation.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Okpeseyi said his client had some health challenges which prevented her from honouring the EFCC’s invitation.

The lawyer said his client is eager to make herself available to the EFCC and would honour the invitation of the Commission once she is fit and recovers from her health challenge and the EFCC fixes a new date.

The lawyer added that his client was invited to “offer clarifications into certain expenditures by some agencies under her ministry” and not because of alleged misappropriation of funds.

He said the EFCC is looking into the books of two financially independent agencies under the humanitarian affairs ministry, including the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).

He said: “I was at the headquarters of the commission on Tuesday to submit a letter to that effect and to seek an extension of time (a shift in date) to enable my client, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, to make herself available at another opportune time to offer clarifications about activities of some agencies under the ministry she superintended in the immediate past administration.

“Although, the EFCC has yet to send me a formal reply, the leadership availed us of its understanding, which resulted in parties amicably agreeing to have the interview originally scheduled for Wednesday (January 3, 2024) postponed to a time that the commission would subsequently fix after looking through its schedules.

That is not the case in this circumstance. She has been invited to offer clarifications into certain expenditures by some agencies under her ministry.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.